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Check It Out: March 2021

Your monthly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

"Check It Out" Welcomes Inspiring Guest Contributors

In January, we introduced a new monthly format to the newsletter with some editorial and design changes and even a revolving editorial staff! Each month, new contributors will look at literacy, diversity, and libraries, with an overarching focus on community building.

This month we welcome three clever elementary school librarians, Julianne Johnson of Standging Bear, Shelby Oelke of Edison, and Robin Walker of Liberty, who share several ideas, including building community and poetry month. Of course, as all librarians do, I'm always looking for new perspectives from my colleagues, so please send your fabulous ideas my way when they strike!

-- Beth Eilers, School Librarian at Omaha Central High School,

Beyond the walls of the library

At Liberty Elementary, librarian Robin Walker finds that whole school creative projects, especially those that are literacy-focused, create a sense of community among the grade levels. Here are ideas she's implemented during this crazy on-again, off-again year.

School-wide project #1: What is your favorite book?

In library class, during Read Across America week, we asked students and staff to draw the cover of their favorite book. We collected all the submissions and turned them into a bulletin board in front of the library. They look so good together and show that everyone in the school is a reader. It is fun to see students and staff walk by, look at them, and point out which book is theirs. It is also fun to see what is popular and what is unique.  

Here are the blank books that we used. I cut them into quarters, then everyone cut out their individual book, though we fixed a few afterwards. 

School-wide project #2: Design-a-Bookmark Contest

In art class (because library doesn’t get to have all the fun), during Read Across America week, we asked students to design a bookmark related to books or reading. We picked a winner from each classroom. There was some tough competition. It needed to be in grayscale so we could make black & white copies for everyone in the winner’s classroom.  

For templates, I just cut printer paper into two-inch strips (2x8.5) and put the extra inch in our makerspace scrap paper bin. 

We did other Read Across America stations in art class that week as well. Here is a PowerPoint of the RAA Art Stations. It fit perfectly at the end of the quarter, as students could catch up on work before grades were due, and the students that had everything turned in could do these stations. 

School Librarian Spotlight

Share some fun facts about you to bring us together while we are apart! Each month "Check It Out" will briefly spotlight an OPS School Librarian or multiple librarians to help you discover the diverse interests and perspectives of your far-flung colleagues. This month our guest contributors have interviewed newish and not-so-newish librarians and shared those interview on a Padlet. The Padlet is also an invitation to spotlight yourself. We all can't wait to know you better!

Click any of the images below to learn more about these stellar OPS school librarians! 

School Librarian Spotlight Credit: Shelby Oelke, Guest Contributor

Hot Topics In School Libraries

Click to discover more on each of the following hot topics.

Hot topic credit: Shelby Oelke, Guest Contributor

Looking Ahead -- April is Poetry Month

World Poetry Day Sunday, March 21
Passover Saturday, March 27
April Fools' Day
Thursday, April 1
Major League Baseball Opening Day Monday, April 1
Professional Development Day -- No students  Friday, April 2
Easter Sunday, April 4
National Librarian Day Friday, April 16


Just for fun:

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).